I went to the doctor's yesterday, now that I finally have health insurance again. I wanted to follow up regarding this cough I have. I have been coughing off & on (more on than off) for the past 1 1/2 years, give or take. It started before I moved up to Washington state. It didn't seem to get any worse or better with the move, as far as I can tell. However, lately, I have been coughing so hard that I sometimes throw up. I've had that kind of cough until I *almost* throw up feeling in the past with this cough, but I haven't actually been getting sick from it until recently.
When I arrived and paid my co-pay, they handed me a germ kit. It had a travel-size package of tissues, some hand sanitizer in a little square pouch, and a face mask so I wouldn't get other people sick. I felt silly just sitting around in the waiting room for about 30 minutes with a mask covering my nose & mouth. And it was not comfortable at all! Finally some guy came in to the clinic and put one on, so at least I wasn't the only weirdo in the lobby.
My appointment was late in the day, and so it took me quite some time to see the doctor. I didn't have to wait as long as I've sometimes had to wait in the past to see a doctor after being taken back to an exam room, but it was close to 45 minutes after my scheduled appointment before I saw him. Anyway, he asked me a series of questions and seemed quite puzzled. In fact, I think he was about ready to give up when I said that I sometimes take a Tums (and by sometimes, it's less than one a week on average).
Well, because of other things people have tried, my past chest x-ray that came back negative, and the answers to my questions, he seems to think it may very well be coming from GERD. The simplified version is that it may be acid-reflux related. So, I'm starting some pills (Prilosec) and some sort of tablet (they were out yesterday, so I'll have to go back to get those) to see if that helps. He wants me to do it for 6 weeks and then go back in to see the doctor. He said it might take that long for me to really notice a difference.
So, some of the things that are requested are short term & long term lifestyle changes, like losing weight (which I know I need to do but have been so stressed that it has been the last thing on my mind for the past 2 1/2 years). But I figure that if I'm going to do this, I'm going to go all in and do it the best way I know how. So hopefully I'll be feeling better and coughing less in 6 weeks when I go in for my follow-up appointment.